After “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler edged out Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks for the welterweight title in a rematch at last December’s UFC 181, the UFC immediately started talking about a potential trilogy bout, and it seemed all but a done deal.
However, Hendricks went on to score a dominant unanimous decision victory over Matt Brown at March’s UFC 185, and Lawler recently defended his title for the first time at July 11’s UFC 189, finishing Rory MacDonald in the fifth round in of the best fights the sport has ever seen.
“Bigg Rigg” was cage side at UFC 189 with the idea that he would be facing the winner. Well, it was reported earlier this week that the UFC was supposedly targeting a Lawler vs. Carlos Condit bout, and a Hendricks vs. Tyron Woodley bout for UFC 194, and let’s just say that Hendricks is not pleased.
Speaking with MMAJunkie Radio, the former champion stated that he’s “pissed” about possibly getting leap frogged by Condit, and he’s not sure what he has to do to get a title shot because after all, he is the No. 1 contender:
“I am pissed; you fight and you do the right things and then you get jumped,” Hendricks said. “What do I need to do to stay relevant? What do I need to do to get back to that title? You’re sitting there and you’re going through all these things. Don’t get me wrong, I am still mad, but again, what can I do? The only thing I can do is go out there and train hard and get another win and sort of do a ‘Cowboy’ (Cerrone). You’re ‘Cowboy’ and you just start beating everybody then next thing you know, there’s going to be nobody left but me.”
Continuing on, Hendricks said that he’s still hoping the shot goes to him, and that he hasn’t heard anything from the UFC just yet, meaning the Woodley fight is apparently news to “Big Rigg”. He also added that if he is skipped, he’ll follow in Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s footsteps and just beat everyone until the UFC is forced to give him a shot:
“I’m still hoping there’s a chance; you just never know,” Hendricks said. “You sit there and you’ve got to take it with a grain of salt. I haven’t got anything yet. We’re still hoping it’s not true, but like I said, I will gladly – I wanted to do with the belt in my hand – but if I can’t I’ll gladly pull a ‘Cowboy’ and beat everybody until there’s no one left but me.
“If it doesn’t happen I’ll gladly take on the responsibility and get my hand raised again to get that belt, because it’s worth it.”
In closing, Hendricks discussed his two fights with Lawler, mentioning how close they were and how exciting they were. At the end of the day, “Big Rigg” wants his title shot, and wants to get this trilogy over with with the “Ruthless” one:
“I understand, lets say I went 0-2 against Lawler, then that’s totally different. If I went 0-2 I’d totally get that; I’m going to have to wait until somebody beats Lawler until I get my next shot,” Hendricks said. “Technically we’re 5-5 on rounds in a fight. I’ve won five; he’s won five, according to the judges. Our first fight was ‘Fight of the Year,’ our second fight was a good fight, but it wasn’t ‘Fight of the Year.’ It was still a good fight. Now you look at it and we’ve got to get it over with.
“Let’s settle this and move on to different parts of our career. That’s really where my head’s at. Let’s get this over with and either I win the belt back or I don’t. … Let’s finish this trilogy and get it over with then move on to the rest of our lives.”
Who should be awarded with the next 170-pound title shot?